Wilhelm von Opel
|Wilhelm von Opel|
The Opel brothers on a five-seats tandem bicycle, 1912: Carl, Wilhelm, Heinrich, Fritz, Ludwig
15 May 1871|
Rüsselsheim am Main, Germany
2 May 1948 (aged 76)|
|Children||2, including Fritz|
Carl von Opel (brother)|
Rikky von Opel (grandson)
Gunter Sachs (grandson)
Wilhelm von Opel (15 May 1871 – 2 May 1948), known as Wilhelm Opel before being ennobled in 1917, was one of the founders of the German automobile manufacturer Opel. He introduced the assembly line to the German automobile industry.
His father, Adam Opel, had founded the family firm as a manufacturer of sewing machines, and later diversified into bicycle manufacturing. After Adam's death in 1895, control of the company passed to his wife and five sons. In 1898, Wilhelm and his brother Fritz brought Opel into the automobile industry with the purchase of the small Lutzmann automobile factory at Dessau.
In 1917, Wilhelm and his brother Heinrich Opel were raised to the nobility of the Grand Duchy of Hesse. Their brother Carl was raised to the same rank the following year. Wilhelm had one son and one daughter, Fritz von Opel and Eleonore von Opel.
In January 1947, he was found guilty by a denazification court and had to pay a large fine. He died the following year.
- Newspaper clippings about Wilhelm von Opel in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics (ZBW)
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